I am traveling to Calgary-Banff- Fairmont Hot Springs in late August -early Sept for 7 full days. I could not find a vacation condo package through my timeshare in the Banff/Canmore area so I am staying most of the days in Fairmont Hot Springs, which looks like quite a drive to/from Banff/Lake Louise. Not sure about the road, but a day trip looks doable, although much of it would be driving. Question #1, Is it? I had hoped to visit Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, but Jasper appears to be completely out of the question unless I give up a day in FHS and stay in Jasper one night. (Did I say i am on a budget?) Since I may never get back to this area, I want to see as much as I can, but also want a few days of R&R with a good book and soaking in the hot springs. How do I make the most of my days the hotels/condos booked already?
Overall itinerary this far: My plane lands very late the evening of the 28th so I plan to grab my rental car about 8:30 the next morning and drive straight to Lake Moraine and Lake Louise as suggested on other forum posts. I am spending one night in Banff but will have most of two days before driving to Fairmont Hot Springs before the sun sets. I saw one post that sugggests I could drive to Lake Moraine and do a short hike; then on to Lake Louise for a visit to the Fairmont and a short hike; and then plow on to Icefields parkway and go out onto the glacier. Sounds like that would be a day and then check in at my hotel in Banff. (I am a female traveling alone so I prefer to be back at my hotel before it gets too late if in a strange place.) So, the next day, after I check out, is it reasonable to think I could go the gondola and Banff lake tour or what might you suggest? (Oh, and rain is out of the question...!)
It looks like the drive to Fairmont Hot Springs could take a ittle over 2 hours per mapquest, so I guess I would need to leave the Banff area by 5-6pm latest? Suggestions for the day before I make my drive southwest?
Once I am in Fairmont Hot Springs, what kind of day trips can I do from there and will I be very disappointed if I miss Jasper? Am thinking I could give up one night in FHSprings if Jasper is a must do. Help? I have used these forums when visiting Whistler, Vancouver, and Vancouver island and find them very helpful. I love all the many little towns in BC so enjoying a nice view, quanit shops, some tea, and a mix of outdoor activities is a perfect balanced vacation for me. Thanks in advance for some help sorting out my itinerary? Always too much to see and never enough time! I must say that this southern NC girl loves Canada (British Columbia) so i am very excited about exploring Alberta and Eastern BC. Please tell me that I will not be disappointed no matter what I do?